Expert Septic & Plumbing Services in Greenville & Beyond

Can Septic Tanks Freeze?

Your septic tank is far beneath the ground, so it probably doesn’t freeze, right? Wrong. In fact, severe winter weather conditions can actually be quite brutal on your septic tank. If temperatures dip low enough, the ground can become frozen and so can your tank. Although septic tank freezing is not a common problem for homeowners who typically use their septic tanks daily, severe temperatures and a vacant home can cause your septic tank to freeze. During winter, your septic tank can freeze if it is not insulated, if your septic line is above ground or not deep enough in the ground, you don’t use your septic tank enough, or you have a plumbing leak.

Signs that your septic tank is frozen include:

  1. Your toilet isn’t flushing properly or at all
  2. You have standing water in your sinks, showers, or tubs
  3. Your washing machine, sinks, bathtubs, or showers won't drain
  4. There is sewage backup in your home

What Causes A Frozen Septic Tank?

The main things that cause your septic tanks to freeze are a vacant home and severely low temperatures in the winter. Here are some things that more specifically lead to frozen septic tanks, that you can help prevent

A frozen septic tank is caused by:

  1. Lack of insulation (insulation can include grass or fresh snow)
  2. A septic line that is not buried deep enough in the ground
  3. A septic tank is not used regularly
  4. Being gone and leaving your home vacant for more than a week during the cold winter season
  5. A plumbing leak (such as a leaking faucet)
  6. Incorrect septic line pitching
  7. There is compacted soil that is covering your septic line
  8. There is cold air that is entering your septic tank system

Is It Bad to A Have Frozen Septic Tank?

Yes, having a frozen septic tank is a problem. When certain components of your tank become frozen, waste takes a long time to break down, the water in your tank can freeze, your drainage pipes can stop working, and your system can become very damaged. Because of this, it is important to try and prevent your septic tank from freezing in the first place. A frozen septic tank leads to plumbing problems and potential damages that will require costly plumbing repairs or replacements. It is best to avoid having a frozen septic tank.

How to Keep Your Septic Tank from Freezing

Septic tank covered with snow in the winterThere are a number of things you can do to protect your septic tank and prevent it from becoming frozen during the winter season.

To keep your septic tank from freezing, you should:

  1. Make sure the septic line is at least 18-24 inches deep in the ground
  2. Avoid mowing your grass over the septic tank for a couple of weeks before the end of the growing season
  3. Make sure to avoid trickles of water running, as this can cause an ice clog in your septic tank system
  4. Cover the ground above your septic tank with 8-12 inches of mulch to create an extra layer of insulation
  5. If you are going on vacation, make sure that someone can turn on your hot water tap for a period of time, at least every 3-4 days
  6. Pump out your septic tank before going on vacation
  7. Keep your home heated at least 56-58 F during the winter to prevent your septic tank from freezing
  8. Notice if there is any seeping or ponding that occurs
  9. Have your plumbing leaks repaired right away
  10. Use a snow trap over the ground above your septic tank
  11. Use warm/hot water in your home at least once a day (i.e., take a hot shower or run a load of laundry using hot water)

If you have a frozen septic tank in your home, we highly encourage you to contact a septic professional as soon as possible, to get the situation inspected and properly taken care of. Leaving a frozen septic tank unnoticed can lead to expensive damages that may be avoided with a thorough inspection and timely services.

Call The Plumbing Experts Today

When your septic tank needs to be serviced, turn to the most trusted name in plumbing: The Plumbing Experts. Backed by years of service excellence, our plumbers are experts in all things septic tanks. Using top-quality tools and technology, we are here to keep your tank functioning perfectly, so you can enjoy a safe and comfortable home. Whether your tank is frozen or you want to prevent it from freezing, we’ve got you covered.

Our septic tank services include:

Don’t settle for anything less than the stellar service you deserve. Choose The Plumbing Experts and rest assured we get the job done right the first time every time.

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Call (864) 210-3127 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!